Plus, our year-end giving kicks off on Giving Tuesday

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  Citizens' Climate Lobby  
  CCL Newsletter, November 2017
Table of Contents:
Climate Caucus reaches 62
Overview of CED
$600k matching gift pool
Rep. Curbelo receives JFK award
Analysis of June meetings
'Chasing Coral' screening & panel
Video of NGO panel
Rep. Bonamici speaks at reception
Climate & nat'l security on Nov. call
Featured LTE from Canada
Learn 'advocacy storytelling'
CVT: Celebrating our work
Climate Caucus reaches 62 members


The bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus recently added two more members, bringing the total to 6231 Republicans and 31 Democrats. The new members are New Jersey Democrat Rep. Josh Gottheimer and Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz.

Some of you may recognize Rep. Gaetz’s name from a bill he introduced earlier this year to eliminate the EPA, which understandably raises some questions. Clearly, abolishing the EPA is a non-starterno one is seriously discussing it in Congress, nor does CCL advocate for that. The idea of abolishing the EPA is “so preposterous, it’s not even worth addressing,” said CCL Executive Director Mark Reynolds.

Rep. Gaetz’s presence on the caucus indicates that he’s now ready to join the good-faith discussion about climate solutions that Rep. Curbelo and Rep. Deutch are leading. As the co-chairs of the caucus, Curbelo and Deutch have welcomed this new pair to the table. The strength of the caucus lies in its diversity of viewpoints, which will make successful bipartisan climate legislation even more likely. 

“With each new pair of members on the Climate Solutions Caucus, we get closer and closer to the tipping point for effective legislation,” said Reynolds. “The caucus isn’t just showing the way forward on climate solutions; it’s also showing the way forward to restore civility in our political discourse, both in Congress and throughout our nation at large.”

Want to support the Climate Solutions Caucus? There are several resources on CCL Community for thanking caucus members, inviting your representative to join, and for social and print media. 

Another successful conference in the books

Our 4th annual Congressional Education Day was a huge success. With more than 600 attendees and more than 400 lobby meetings scheduled, we brought our climate solutions message to the Hill again last week. And as our June Analysis showed, that message is being received loud and clear by congressional offices on both sides of the aisle.

The conference began on Sunday, November 12, with a screening of the Netflix original documentary “Chasing Coral” and a panel discussion. CED officially kicked off on Monday with a day of education and inspiration for our volunteers, and then it wrapped up on Tuesday with lobbying on the Hill and a celebratory reception that night. On Friday, the congressional briefings we organized were well attended. There was standing room only, with about 25 Senate staffers and 40 House staffers attending their respective briefings.

Thank you to all of our amazing volunteers who either attended CED in person or followed along on social media from home. All year long, you reach out to your communities, write letters to the editor, act as liaisons to congressional offices, and demonstrate CCL’s values of optimism and respect along the way. Those activities pave the way for positive meetings and the climate action we need from Congress.

For a recap of the highlights, head over to the CCL blog. 

$600,000 matching gift pool!

CCL’s supporters are as generous with their financial donations as with their time and energy. That’s how CCL’s staff has managed to keep pace with an unbelievable explosion of growth, increasing to almost 90,000 supporters dedicated to enacting fair, effective climate solutions.

Now sixty generous donors known as the Women Who Will and Generous Gentlemen have stepped forward, offering $10,000 each to create an astonishing $600,000 matching gift pool! Starting on Giving Tuesday, November 28, all donations through the end of the year will be matched dollar-for-dollar until the challenge is met.

“I’m both excited and a bit terrified about this,” says CCL’s Development Director Lynate Pettengill, who helped facilitate the incredible generosity of the Women Who Will and Generous Gentlemen. “But I’ve learned to have faith in the mighty CCL volunteer, and I bet we’re going to reach this aggressive goal.”

Starting on November 28, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to Citizens’ Climate Education. You’ll soon be receiving a letter in the mail with more details, along with a couple of emails. Your gift will help train and empower your fellow citizens, preparing CCL for the biggest and most important year of climate action yet!

Curbelo receives JFK New Frontier Award

Last week, Rep. Carlos Curbelo, Republican co-chair of the bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus, received the John F. Kennedy Library's New Frontier Award for his leadership on climate change.

In presenting the award, Jack Schlossberg, grandson of President Kennedy, said, “Congressman Curbelo’s work on climate demonstrates the impact that young leaders, who dare to think differently, and challenge tradition, can have on our national politics. As a young man and a member of the new generation, one that expects more out of our politics, that believes we aren’t as divided as we may seem, that welcomes climate change as an opportunity for American triumph, I am grateful that Congressman Curbelo is representing us in Washington.”

During his acceptance speech at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government's Institute of Politics in Cambridge, Mass., Curbelo gave a shoutout to Citizens’ Climate Lobby:

“I will also salute organizations like Citizens’ Climate Lobby, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Nature Conservancy and others whose members are sincerely committed and dedicated to building support for responsible environmental policies in both parties. We could not have gotten very far without them.”

Curbelo concluded his acceptance speech by saying, “As we celebrate the centenary of [President Kennedy’s] birth, we should remember that from the time of our founders, politics is meant to be the art of what is possible, not the measure of our differences. We should encourage each other to become more – not less – involved in the affairs of our community and in the future of our nation.” 

Analysis shows gains with GOP in Congress

There was reason to break into our happy dance recently after hearing from CCL Legislative Director Danny Richter that our meetings with congressional Republicans are more productive than ever. Following our June lobby day, Danny read and analyzed the notes from 501 meetings on the Hill, and one thing in particular jumped out: The ratio of good meetings to bad meetings with Republican offices is now 21 to 1.

This is the fourth year Danny has analyzed the meeting notes from CCL’s June lobbying. In 2014, the ratio of good meetings to bad with Republicans was 3 to 1, and that ratio has steadily improved over the years.

“What this tells us is that CCL’s approach of respect and appreciation with members of Congress is paying off,” CCL Executive Director Mark Reynolds said in a press release issued last week. “Our engagement with congressional offices, particularly Republicans, is helping to drive the growth of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus in the House.”

The findings from the June meetings analysis were presented to congressional offices during Congressional Education Day last week. 

'Chasing Coral' screening & panel discussion

On Sunday, November 12, we began CED with an educational, inspirational screening of the film "Chasing Coral." Then we live streamed the post-movie panel discussion with Julia Roberson from Ocean Conservancy, Dr. Mark Eakin from NOAA's Coral Reef Watch, Max Steinman from Exposure Labs, and Jake Barr from the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and the Coast Guard.

The discussion and Q&A with the audience was lively, and our panelists added helpful context to what we had just learned from the documentary. Dr. Eakin said the costs of losing our reefs is about $9 trillion per year. Watch the recording to learn even more from these experts. 

NGO panel spotlights collaboration

Last Monday, during our Congressional Education Day, we heard from a panel of representatives from several organizations about their strategies for addressing climate change. The panel included Shannon Heyck-Williams from National Wildlife Federation, Melissa Carey from The Nature Conservancy, Justin Stokes from Audubon, and Carol Andress from the Environmental Defense Fund.

Though none of these organizations has endorsed a specific policy to price carbon, all of them are supportive of CCL’s work, particularly our outreach to Republicans. Some of these organizations recently collaborated with CCL and Friends Committee on National Legislation for the hour of floor speeches by members of the Climate Solutions Caucus.

The Nature Conservancy’s Melissa Carey described their approach on carbon pricing: “TNC strongly supports a price on carbon but doesn’t define what that is. The last run at this issue [Cap-and-Trade in 2009], it may have been better if advocates had allowed enough time for policymakers to feel invested in the design of the policy. We support a market-based approach, so many of the design details will fall within that frame.”

The bottom line is that each organization has an important role to play in solving climate change, and we’re supporting one another’s efforts in ways that are appropriate for each organization. 

Rep. Bonamici speaks at CED reception

One of the most special parts of a CCL conference is getting to reflect on and celebrate our successes together. On Tuesday night of Congressional Education Day, we gathered for a reception where we heard from Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), our founder and president Marshall Saunders, and many volunteers who shared their stories from the stage.

Rep. Bonamici was introduced by a constituent and CCL volunteer who, last year, postponed her wedding so that she could attend CCL’s June conference. When Rep. Bonamici took the stage, she congratulated CCL on 10 years of making a difference. She spoke about her district’s vulnerabilities to climate change and said, “But we in Oregon understand that we can grow the economy and protect the environment and address climate change.” She thanked CCL volunteers for their work and said, "You are making a difference!"

Marshall took the stage and thanked volunteers, too. He said:

- Thank you that, for 10 years, you have kept this organization strong and growing in both numbers and commitment.
- Thank you for your initiative. We are an organization driven by volunteer initiative and you start things. You have good, new ideas, and you make them real.
- Thank you for your civility. For relating to your members of Congress with appreciation, admiration and respect. You are an example for the world. Your civility is at the heart of our work and defines who we are. We want both a livable world and dignity for all.
- Thank you for not giving up. There is no quit in you. Your commitment sustains me, and I am proud to be one of you.
- Thank you for being an inspiration for many, for giving hope to people inside and outside of CCL.

The reception continued well into the evening, with food, fellowship and even a little dancing as we celebrated our 10th anniversary together.

Climate & national security on Nov. call

Our November speaker was Maj. Gen. Rick Devereaux, Ret., who served 34 years in the U.S. Air Force before retiring in 2012. Devereaux is also a volunteer with the Asheville chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby.

The November call happened to fall on Veterans Day this year, so Devereaux began his remarks saying, “It’s an honor for me to talk about the intersection between the climate, national security, and fossil fuels. I can’t think of a more timely topic on this day.”

He provided a few talking points to emphasize when speaking with people about national security and climate change:

- The US military knows climate change is real
- They are moving away from fossil fuels
- The military is consistently “greening” their operations, no matter which federal administration is in charge 

LTE: One millennial speaks out on climate

This week’s featured letter to the editor comes from 18-year-old Alyssa Taburiaux, published in British Columbia’s Langley Times on October 12. She wrote in response to a syndicated opinion piece claiming that the horrific wildfires in BC and hurricanes further south had nothing to do with climate change. Her letter ended up being published in 26 different newspapers across British Columbia.

Millennials are fed up with climate dismissives

As a Millennial, I find it particularly insulting to see Mr. Fletcher dismiss the importance of climate change. My generation knows the urgency that is needed to act on climate change. It is our future that is being risked. 

The struggles Millennials will face with climate change, and the real uncertainty of our future, go unacknowledged by Mr. Fletcher. I find it upsetting that Black Press papers across the province give Mr. Fletcher a mouthpiece for such inaccurate messaging.

Millennials like myself will be the largest age cohort in the 2019 election according to a recent Abacus report. To stay relevant to this generation, editorials need to focus on solutions to our climate crisis, rather than denying human-caused climate change.

Mr. Fletcher questions connections between climate change and the unusually damaging and deadly hurricane season.

Scientists tell us that warmer ocean and air temperatures contribute to making hurricanes more severe. Warmer ocean water causes hurricanes to rapidly intensify, as was seen with this year’s hurricanes. And warmer air can hold more moisture than cooler air, contributing to more intense rainfall. Rising seas also make coastal storm surges worse.

He also questioned the association of our changing climate with this summer’s record wildfire season in BC. The summer of 2017 was much warmer and drier than average, and such conditions make wildfires worse. Summer temperatures in BC are expected to continue to get warmer because of climate change.

On behalf of my little sisters’ future and the future of my generation, I ask that science is acknowledged, and the issue of climate change becomes a priority.

Alyssa Taburiaux, Castlegar

Want to learn more about writing LTEs that pack a punch and get published? Join the Print Media Action Team on CCL Community for support, resources and more. 

Learn about 'Advocacy Storytelling'

On December 12 at 1 p.m. ET, join a helpful webinar from the Congressional Management Foundation about “Advocacy Storytelling.” 

People have trouble remembering facts, but they never forget a good story. Effective advocacy appeals to the heart, the head, and political health of the legislator. Learn how to organize and present your stories with the tactics actors use. This presentation includes the seven key elements of public policy advocacy storytelling and walks participants through an exercise to develop their own personal story to move the hearts, minds, and votes of lawmakers.

The webinar will be conducted by Bradford Fitch, President and CEO of CMF, and James Vaughn, Special Consultant for CMF. If you have any questions regarding this presentation, please contact Jaime Werner at CMF at JWerner (at) CongressFoundation (dot) org

Core Training: Celebrating our work

Core Volunteer Training is created to help connect new volunteers with each other from across the world and empower them to achieve their larger goals for climate advocacy.

This coming Tuesday, for the final week of the series season, our Core Volunteer Training topic will be "Celebrating Our Work." As an organization, CCL exists to empower individuals to experience personal and political breakthroughs in their own power, and next Tuesday's lesson will be a celebration of this mission. All new volunteers are welcome to tune in and share their own success stories from the field. What moment are you most proud of as a CCL volunteer? What experience(s) helped expand your comfort zone and lead you to unknown places?

The webinar will also feature CCL's President and Founder Marshall Saunders as a special guest. Marshall will share his experience starting CCL, complete with setbacks and early victories, and then open up all of our stories. Come prepared to share your experiences of what has been possible and engage in Q&A time with Marshall. The call will close with a final reflection on what it means to be a CCL volunteer and how we can best support each other in our climate advocacy.

The session will take place nextTuesday, Nov. 28th, at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT. Click the button below to register, and come prepared to share your story, ask questions, and email questions in advance to brett (at) citizensclimate (dot) org.

Can't make it? The presentation recordings can be found on the Core Volunteer Training homepage afterward

CCL Climate Advocate Training
Do you want to be a more effective volunteer? Start by joining our weekly intro call, then register for our Climate Advocate Training, and wrap up with our Core Volunteer Training.
The Intro Call is held weekly on Wednesdays at 8pm ET, 5pm PT.
Join Intro Call

Climate Advocate Training is held the third and fourth Wednesdays of every month at 8 pm ET, 5 pm PT.
Register for Climate Advocate Training

Core Volunteer Training is held weekly on Tuesdays at 8 pm ET, 5 pm PT.
Register for Core Volunteer Training
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